Britain supports November poll in Nepal


London : Britain has expressed support for the forthcoming elections to Nepal’s Constituent Assembly on Nov 22, and has called on all parties to ensure that credible elections are held in the country.

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Shahid Malik, Britain’s International Development Minister, will travel to Nepal Monday for a three-day visit. He will meet Nepal’s Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and express Britain’s support for the historic elections to the Constituent Assembly.

On the eve of his visit, Malik said here: “I’m looking forward to visiting Nepal and speaking to people about how their lives have changed as a result of the peace agreement, and what their hopes are for the upcoming elections.

“All the political parties have worked hard to get to this moment. They need to continue to work together to make these historic elections happen. The people of Nepal want them. They have waited more than 50 years for the chance to elect a Constituent Assembly to agree a new constitution – and they should not have to wait any longer.”

He added: “I hope that all Nepalis, regardless of their caste or ethnicity, will benefit from peace and greater security, but also from more jobs and greater investment in healthcare and education.

“I’ll be talking to Dalits, Janajatis, Madhesis, religious minorities, women and others who have been excluded in the past. And I’ll be talking to the government about steps they are taking to include them.

“Now is the time to leave old divisions and inequalities behind and look ahead to a prosperous and peaceful future for all of Nepal’s people. It is time to look forward to a new Nepal,” Malik said.

Earlier this year, Britain announced support for the Government of Nepal’s Peace Trust Fund with a contribution of $4.4 million. Malik is expected to announce more financial support while he is in Nepal.